We’ve all seen shell jewelry and knickknack boxes decorated in shells; I’ve even seen pictures made out of shells, but have you seen a whole wall done shells? Let alone 2,000 square feet?
In 1835, while digging a duck pond, Mr. James Newlove made an astonishing discovery. A deep hole appeared while they were digging and Mr. Newlove decided to lower his son Joshua into that hole to see how deep it was and where it led.
Joshua emerged with an astonishing tale, they had discovered 70 feet of winding tunnels leading into a huge chamber. That in itself is nothing, it was the 4.6 million shells embedded in the walls to form a beautiful winding mosaic that was the amazing part.
No one knows where or why this beautiful ‘Shell Grotto‘ was created, but since then it has been visited by people from all over the world.
99% of the shells are native to the British Isles and most of those are found locally including mussels, whelks, oysters, cockles, limpits and razor shells. There are also some exotic shells, such as the queen conches from the Caribbean in the corners of the Altar Room.
How they got there or who created this marvelous work we will never know.
The Shell Grotto is located at Grotto Hill, Margate, Kent. If you ever get a chance to head to the U.K, be sure to add this astonishing work of art to your ‘must see’ list.